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Bountiful man paid $2,700 for child porn, police say


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SALT LAKE CITY — Information collected from a convicted sex offender and tracing payments made by a PayPal account led investigators to file charges of child pornography against a Bountiful man.

Nikolas Bennion Bradshaw, 24, was charged Aug. 14 with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. An arraignment in 2nd District Court was scheduled for Thursday.

The investigation into Bradshaw culminated on Aug. 9 when a federal search warrant was served at his house by investigators from the Department of Homeland Security.

That search warrant affidavit, unsealed this week, says the lead investigator in the case from the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force began looking at Bradshaw in 2013. As part of the investigation, the agent looked at payments being made through Bradshaw's PayPal account.

From December 2013 through July 2016 "the account registered to Nikolas Bennion Bradshaw … made approximately 85 payments in the amount of $2,700 to another PayPal account associated to … a website identified as sharing images of children in sexual situations," the warrant states.

It was also during this investigation that authorities learned Bradshaw was exchanging child pornography with another Utah resident, Elijah Roberts, according to the warrant.

Roberts, of West Jordan, was 19 when he was convicted in federal court of possession of child pornography in 2016. He was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison. He told investigators that he exchanged child pornography with Bradshaw using the apps Kik and Wickr, the warrant states.

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"Elijah Roberts stated that he learned during these chats that Nikko Bradshaw is interested in children between the ages of 6 and 12 and that Nikko Bradshaw had indicated an interest in having 'sex with kids,'" according to the affidavit.

When he was arrested, "Bradshaw stated that he routinely receives and distributes child pornography through various applications contained on his cellphone. Bradshaw explained that he has looked at and sought child pornography beginning years earlier. Further, Bradshaw stated that he finds child pornography through use of the TOR browser (darknet). Bradshaw advised that he routinely clears his hard drive of child pornography," according to charging documents.

During a search of his phone, police found five images of child porn in the deleted section, the charges state.

Police said as of the time the charges were written, they were also investigating allegations that Bradshaw was sexually abusing a young boy and "offering (that boy) sexually to others online," according to the charges. That investigation is ongoing, court documents indicate.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News

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